Frascati (Italy) is an ancient city, which is situated on the hills above Rome, in the South. It’s famous by its view on the Rome. The view is especially beautiful at night, but there are other unknown sight-seen – ancient villas and gardens.
I’ve been there many times before I discovered this side of the city and its surrounding. Many villas are private and their gardens are closed, but some of them are a national heritage and gardens of such villas are open for the public. You can smell a mystery and history in such places. Villas are full with the underground passages and hidden rooms for secret society meetings. On the villa, which I visited, Lions Club still meets. Some gardens still have parts of an ancient paved roads which were leading to Rome.
These hills are also famous by the city named Castel Gandolfo. The summer residence of the Pope is located there, but this is a story for another post.
The story of Soaring Cupola photograph begins in 2009. That year I was spending my vacation in a beautiful Italian capital – Rome. Late at night as we were walking from Saint Angelo castle (Castel Sant’Angelo) in the darkness I was stunned by the beautiful view of the bridge and azur cupola of St. Peter’s basilica floating above the Tiber river. I could not resist and took a picture. The Rome nights in March chilly and I managed to take just a couple of shots before the wind pierced me. (You can notice the wind even on a long exposure photographs below.)
Since then I was planning to retake this shot in a more appropriate time to eliminate dark areas and high contrast.
5 years later in 2014 I finally found time to retake it. I came to the place to find that this composition doesn’t really work for me, doesn’t communicate my filling of the place. The sense of the depth was lost and there were some distracting elements. I found a new position which I liked more and started to wait for the perfect light, but that day light show was happening above my head – not above the selected subject. So I had to wait longer. When the lights were switched on clouds start organizing to an interesting structure. I was hopping that one of the clouds will emphasize structure of the cupola and this did happen. I like how background clouds are separated behind the cupola on the final shot.
I spent around 1.5 hour in my ambush on the bridge, talking with tourists and Pakistani guys selling souvenirs. I had a nice time patiently waiting for the shot.
You can buy a print here or contact me if you are interested in photo modification/raw format.